Political figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer
© Grant Miller/George W. Bush Presidential Center

Various political figures paid tribute to conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer on a Thursday after he died at the age of 68 following a battle with cancer.

Vice President Pence offered his condolences to Krauthammer's family in a tweet, writing that the longtime Fox News commentator and Pulitzer-winning columnist "will long be remembered for his eloquence, his triumph in hardship, and his countless contributions to American political thought."  

Former President George W. Bush credited Krauthammer with strengthening U.S. democracy, saying he and his wife Laura were "deeply saddened by the loss of an intellectual giant and dear friend."

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"His work was far-reaching and influential - and while his voice will be deeply missed, his ideas and values will always be a part of our country," Bush said in a statement.

"Just because this news didn’t come as a surprise does not make it any easier to face," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? Dems charge ahead on immigration Biden and Bernie set for clash MORE (R-Ky.) said. 

"As a writer, speaker, and commentator, Charles served our society as a public intellectual in the truest sense. His pen functioned like a lighthouse, helping all of us see more clearly and reason more thoroughly through the most important issues that our nation faced," McConnell added.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers FEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday MORE (R-Wis.) referred to Krauthammer as "one of the great thinkers of our time."

"A giant in his intellect and his character. A good and gracious man. And a dear friend. This is such a loss. Our prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues," Ryan tweeted.  

House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph Scalise20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform GOP to launch discharge petition on anti-BDS measure This week: Democrats revive net neutrality fight MORE (R-La.) mourned Krauthammer's death on Twitter, remembering him as "a kind man and an intellectual giant, who contributed so much throughout his life and faced his death with grace and courage." 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyPollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge Trump blocked renomination of Obama-era UN racism official, won't pick a replacement: report Trump says he considered nominating Ivanka to lead World Bank MORE also remembered Krauthammer in a tweet, while Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDems plot aggressive post-Mueller moves, beginning with McGahn Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Cuban negotiator says Trump's efforts to destabilize Cuba's government will fail MORE (R-Fla.) called him "a man of extraordinary intellect" and "truly one of a kind."

Krauthammer was known in the nation's capital for his conservative commentary in The Washington Post and on Fox News. 

He had not been on Fox since last August and said in May that he was "finally getting back on track." But in a letter shared earlier this month, he revealed that a "secondary cancer" had spread after doctors removed a tumor in his abdomen.

"My doctors tell me their best estimate is that I have only a few weeks left to live. This is the final verdict. My fight is over," he wrote on June 8.

The conservative commentator thanked his readers and viewers, as well as his friends for "a lifetime of memories" earlier this month. 

"I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended," he said.